Could you please tell me a little about R. Lee Ermey, who stars in the TV shows Mail Call and Lock N’ Load? What was his rank and branch in the military?
—Dean Todd, Orleans, Vt.
The former drill instructor, 65, was born in Emporia, Kan., and served for 11 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he rose to the rank of staff sergeant and later was bestowed the honorary rank of gunnery sergeant. Ermey served 14 months in Vietnam and later did two tours in Okinawa, Japan. He retired from the Corps due to injuries and studied criminology and drama at the University of Manila in the Philippines. He’s appeared in some 40 movies and received a Golden Globe nomination for his work in 1987’s Full Metal Jacket.